Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole
Balonne Shire Mayor Samantha O'Toole

Mayor: ‘Second Bruce Hwy’ could boost southwest councils

BALONNE Shire Mayor Samantha O’Toole is hoping several southwest Queensland councils can capitalise on the Labor government’s announcement about a multi-billion dollar infrastructure project that could transform the southwest forever.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk posted on social media this morning the plans for a ‘second Bruce Highway’ that would run from Charters Towers to Mungindi and go through towns Injune, Roma and St George.

“Well this project would be a major thoroughfare for the Balonne Shire,” mayor O’Toole said.

“I think a consistent view among western local councils would be to lobby state government to allow us to be the sole invitee on this work as it passes through our towns.

“We would really love local councils to be able to do this work, rather than the state government organising outsider contractors.

“We tend to be the ones that are financially unstable and a way to improve our finances would be allowing us to be the main contractors on these main roads.

“This supports regional employments, utilises our equipment and really becomes a business for us.”

The mayor said it would be integral for the Queensland government to be considerate of the local councils that the road cuts through.

She said she’s looking forward to hearing more information about the project and believes it would be an added benefit to the region.

“I can appreciate it will help all the little towns along the way,” she said.

“And it will flow into Moree, but the Carnarvon Highway that runs from Thallon to St George and up to Roma is one of the busiest routes and already recognised by the federal government with national significance and receives federal funding.

“We have several projects by the federal government that will improve road conditions on that highway.

“I’d love to hear more information from the premier but do appreciate this will be a benefit for the region.”


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